Along the long green garden of Gray’s Inn Gardens, the heart of London’s legal district, walked women dressed more in the past than the present: long dresses in rich colours, flat, wide hats, fancy elbow-high gloves, hemlines sweeping over solid shoes.

#SuzyLFW: Erdem Plays Homage To A Romantic Revolutionary-1

Who were these figures in the Erdem show? As ever, there was a rich and historic storyline.

“I was inspired by an Italian woman called Tina Modotti, born in Italy, but who was a silent movie star in Hollywood, then moved to San Francisco where she became an exceptional photographer.” that was before the really juicy bit, when the Italian star moved to Mexico where she was a romantic revolutionary for the communists, and died mysteriously age 45 in 1942.

#SuzyLFW: Erdem Plays Homage To A Romantic Revolutionary-2

Phew! This story beats the upper class ladies with whimsical stories of their own who have peopled the Erdem show for at least four seasons.

This season’s women wearing the spring/summer collection included Mexican textiles and flat hats from South America. designer talked about his work. “There was something about the proportions that got really interesting, the idea of waist-lessness, and the tiers, and there was this correlation between Victorian dress and traditional clothes which felt really interesting – especially knowing the Italian star and her own fascination with the Victorian dress. That was really interesting to me.”

#SuzyLFW: Erdem Plays Homage To A Romantic Revolutionary-3

The Erdem suits came tailored with narrow, elongated skirts, and the designer said he was fascinated by how his subject was attracted to the 1920s at the end of her life.

A lot of the clothes, such as a tulle drop-waisted dress had a 1920s silent movie charm. But where in this line-up of striking outfits – a bow at the neckline, anchored with a pin – was the freedom of right now?

#SuzyLFW: Erdem Plays Homage To A Romantic Revolutionary-4

”My work has always been about a narrative, and been about a specific woman and her life. So I think it’s about a homage to Tina Modotti.”

#SuzyLFW: Erdem Plays Homage To A Romantic Revolutionary-5

“Her story is not about fashion but about the power of dressing as a form of self-expression to communicate something far deeper,” the designer said. “She dressed to become who she felt she was meant to be.”